President Donald Trump has approved a formal transition process to President-elect Joe Biden. As Biden unveils Cupboard appointees (together with Antony Blinken as secretary of state) and formulates his overseas coverage, it’s essential that he addresses the arrogance deficit amongst Hong Kong People relating to the U.S. stance on Hong Kong.
Our survey of Hong Kong People reveals that they’re united of their need for a powerful U.S. coverage to curb Beijing’s repression of Hong Kong. Their key concern is which presidential candidate and which celebration can be more practical. In that regard, it’s notable that even Biden voters expressed doubt about his Hong Kong coverage. The survey reveals that 33 p.c of Trump supporters in 2020 voted for Clinton in 2016, and that some voters most well-liked Trump for president however Democratic candidates for Congress this time.
The rising profile of Hong Kong’s wrestle for freedom on the worldwide stage and the 2020 U.S. elections introduced an ideal alternative to look at the political attitudes of Hong Kong People: Hong Kongers who’ve lived, labored, or studied in the USA, and People who’ve comparable sturdy ties to Hong Kong. We’re significantly excited about whether or not and the way political engagement with Hong Kong politics shapes voting habits in American elections.
Given the dearth of a nationwide census of Hong Kong People, our pattern was not meant to be consultant. We reached out to our goal inhabitants via Fb teams of Hong Kong People, Hong Kong golf equipment throughout varied U.S. larger training establishments, listservs of China consultants, and requested additional circulation of the survey. Between October 15 and November 2, we obtained 890 legitimate responses. Our survey pattern included 611 US residents (69 perrcent), of which 595 have been registered to vote, whereas 275 respondents (31 p.c) have been inexperienced card and visa holders ineligible to vote. The bulk reported having lived within the U.S. and resided in Hong Kong for greater than 10 years (70 p.c and 87 p.c, respectively).
Respondents to this survey are united of their burning issues for Hong Kong. They passionately again the 2014 Umbrella Motion and the 2019 anti-extradition protests, whereas intensely opposing the Beijing-imposed nationwide safety regulation. Nonetheless, they grew to become deeply divided over the U.S. elections and sorted themselves into both the Trump or Biden camp. On the identical time, the bulk acknowledged the crucial significance of bipartisan assist for the Hong Kong trigger.
Key Discovering 1: Respondents are staunch supporters of the pro-democracy motion in Hong Kong.
Respondents overwhelmingly rallied across the metropolis’s battle for democracy, freedom, and autonomy. The bulk “strongly assist” or “assist” the Umbrella Motion’s aim of “real common suffrage” and the anti-extradition protest’s “5 calls for.” (See Desk 1.)
Equally, 826 respondents (95 p.c) expressed their opposition to the Beijing-imposed nationwide safety regulation, which critics argue has successfully ended the promise of “one nation, two programs.”
Key Discovering 2: Hong Kong People are divided within the 2020 presidential elections, with pivotal non-partisan voters swinging to Trump
Amongst 595 registered voters, 325 (55 p.c) supported Trump whereas 205 (34 p.c) most well-liked Biden. Apparently, nearly half of the Clinton voters in 2016 switched to Trump in 2020. Determine 1 reveals the sample of vote change between the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections. Trump managed to attract assist from not solely Democrats but additionally those that didn’t vote or voted for the third candidate in 2016.
The survey additionally reveals a better degree of split-ticket voting amongst Trump voters: 50 (15 p.c) of those that supported Trump within the presidential election indicated that they opted for Democratic candidates of their congressional district. (See determine 2.)
Respondents have been requested to fee the Republican Get together, the Democratic Get together and leaders from each events utilizing the sensation thermometer, with 0 indicating extraordinarily unfavorable, 50 neither favorable nor unfavorable, and 100 extraordinarily favorable. The responses demonstrated a big partisan divide between Trump and Biden supporters.
Determine 3 reveals the common rankings on the 2 events and outstanding political figures by voter teams (Trump voters, Biden voters, and non-voters). The typical hole between Trump and Biden supporters is 51 factors, with Trump being probably the most polarizing determine with a 74-point distinction. Normally, Trump voters expressed a lot heat towards Trump, Senator Marco Rubio, and Senate Speaker Mitch McConnell, and far coldness towards Democrats together with Biden, former President Barack Obama, and Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Likewise, Biden voters have been very heat towards Democrats and chilly towards Republicans.
The 275 non-voters (31 p.c of respondents), nevertheless, didn’t current any partisan sorting impact and maintained the center floor throughout all related questions.
Key Discovering 3: Consensus on a powerful U.S. coverage towards China and on bipartisan efforts to guard Hong Kong
Regardless of polarizing views, respondents introduced a close to consensus that the USA ought to pursue a tricky China coverage. On common, 95 p.c of Trump supporters, 78 p.c of Biden supporters, and 88 p.c of non-voters discovered it “extraordinarily essential” and “crucial” for the U.S. to actively restrict Beijing’s energy, promote human rights, and defend Taiwan even when different priorities are in danger.
When requested to guage whether or not one other Trump administration, a Biden administration, the Republican Get together, and the Democratic Get together can be efficient in defending Hong Kong’s “one nation, two programs,” Trump supporters perceived Trump and the Republican Get together to rise to the problem whereas giving low rankings to Biden and the Democratic Get together.
It’s noteworthy that Biden voters have been much less sure of their candidate and celebration. Whereas 62 p.c of Biden supporters disagreed that one other Trump time period can be good for Hong Kong, they’d reasonable confidence within the Republican Get together: 25 p.c agreed that the Republican Get together can be efficient in safeguarding Hong Kong, in comparison with 29 p.c for Biden and 34 p.c for his Get together. Biden voters even had a lot doubt about each Biden and the Democratic Get together: about half selected “neither agree/disagree” relating to the effectiveness of a Biden administration (50.5 p.c) and the Democratic Get together (46.5 p.c).
Non-voters shared the same sample. About 46 p.c believed within the effectiveness of a Trump presidency and the Republican Get together. Solely 7 p.c have been assured within the Biden administration and 15 p.c within the Democratic Get together. (See Tables 2-5.)
The strongest consensus is on the necessity for bipartisanship in countering Beijing. (See determine 4.) As many as 83 p.c of the Biden camp, 67.2 p.c of Trump supporters, and 68.3 p.c of non-voters “agree” or “strongly agree” that it takes bipartisan assist for the USA to be efficient in defending Hong Kong. An excessive majority of 814 knew that the 2019 Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act was handed by each the Republican-dominated Senate and the Democrat-controlled Home of Representatives.
Hong Kong People for Hong Kong
No matter who they supported within the elections, Hong Kong People ought to reunite to press the Biden administration, the Senate, and the Home to work collectively to formulate an efficient Hong Kong coverage. The roughly 200,000 Hong Kong People symbolize solely a tiny minority in American politics. They need to work tirelessly to make Hong Kong a entrance and middle challenge for the brand new administration and members of Congress.
If Hong Kong People lack confidence in Biden, the trail ahead is to show their energies towards lobbying the brand new administration to take efficient measures. Biden known as the nationwide safety regulation a “death blow” to town’s freedom. The Democratic Get together platform pledges to “totally implement the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, together with by sanctioning officers, monetary establishments, corporations, and people accountable for undercutting Hong Kong’s autonomy.” Blinken has argued that, if Beijing enjoys impunity over Hong Kong, it could be emboldened to focus on Taiwan subsequent. The brand new administration ought to tackle the arrogance deficit by clearly spelling out its Hong Kong coverage.
Maggie Shum and Victoria Tin-bor Hui are political scientists of Hong Kong origin on the College of Notre Dame. Shum research celebration group, participatory establishments and contentious politics in Latin America and Hong Kong. She has written on Hong Kong for the Washington Submit’s Monkey Cage. Hui examines political actions in Hong Kong and elsewhere and not too long ago revealed “Hong Kong Faces Tiananmen 2.0” within the Journal of Democracy.